tv The Ed Show MSNBC April 5, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
about erasing that 18-point loss in 2006, a beauty contest indeed. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. >> good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show," tonight from new york. president obama has republicans cornered into backing the most radical budget in the history of america. now mitt romney's flakes are whining about the president being a bully? suck it up, righties. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i looked at what the president said and there were so many things that were inaccuracies, it's hard to give a full list. >> we're getting demagoguery. >> republicans are in the full meltdown mode after president obama destroyed the romney/ryan plan. >> what is amazing is what a bully president obama has suddenly become. >> tonight, former vermont governor howard dean on the right-wing freak-out and a democratic 50-state strategy.
>> when you have 101 general election and they see, again, are reminded of governor romney's real views, that gender gap will dissipate rather quickly. >> the etch a sketch candidate rides again and the republican disaster with women gets worse. >> oh, come on. the vote is a joke! >> plugging that thing in every day -- >> [ bleep ]. >> -- pain in the beep, yeah. >> righties voting for an american failure got some bad news today. bob shrum on the success of the chevy volt. and activists say hydraulic fracking is a huge problem and leading to an environmental disaster. >> i can't take a bath at our house because of the gaslight. >> oscar nominated actor mark ruffalo has a new campaign to stop fraccing and he's with us tonight. republicans and their nominee in waiting is on the defensive. the president has engaged them in direct political combat and president obama gave us, i
think, a preview of his central campaign message. i think this section from the president's speech to the associated press will be the key to his re-election effort. >> it doesn't make us weaker when we guaranteed basic security for the elderly or the sick or those who are actively looking for work. what makes us weaker is when fewer and fewer people can afford to buy the goods and services that our businesses sell. or when entrepreneurs don't have the financial security to take a chance and start a new business. what drags down our entire economy is when there's an ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everybody else. in this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few. it has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class. >> the president has drawn a clear line between himself and the republican party.
mitt romney decided his best response, his best shot was to call the president out of touch. >> it's enough to make you think that years of flying around in air force one, surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers, telling you that you're great and you're doing a great job, it's enough to make you think that you might become a little out of touch with that, and that's what's happened. >> mitt romney is playing a very dangerous game by calling anyone out of touch. but the president is framing the election as a fight between the protractors of the wealthy against a government for the people. calling president obama out of touch might be the only trick romney has. today, he was on the same stage president obama study on yesterday. there was a similar blue backdrop, all very presidential looking, and romney spoke to a convention of journalists, just like the president did, but his message couldn't have been more different than president obama's. >> he doesn't want to share his real plans before the election, either with the public or with the press. he wants us to re-elect him so we can find out what he'll
actually do. with all the challenges the nation faces, this is not the time for president obama's hide and seek campaign. >> so president obama is kind of spooky and scary? and he wants to turn america into something terrible? give me a break. right there proves romney has no game. romney's surrogates, what do they do? they hit the air waves to deliver similar attacks against big, bad president obama. >> what is amazing is what a bully president obama has suddenly become. here a man who came in with hope and change, and now he's bullying his way. he's bullying his way on paul ryan saying he's not coming up with an adequate budget. >> he's just bullying the middle class every chance he gets, isn't he? >> oh, yes, the ryan budget, that damned thing. that's what the republicans are really saying behind closed doors. now their stuck with it. the president is using this document to define republicans. now republicans are stuck defending it. the best thing they can do is
say that president obama is mean. >> he's distorting the truth, he's dividing the country, and he's becoming more bitter and partisan by the day. we're just getting demagoguery, we're getting desperation, we're getting partisan attacks from a campaigner in chief and it's very unbecoming of the president of the united states, if you ask me. >> really? is that why there's a record number of filibusters in the senate? president obama has forced republicans to throw their arms around paul ryan's radical plan for america. not only are republicans jumping on board with ryan, there's increasing speculation that he may be mitt romney's running mate. man, i tell you what, i am all for it. i hope they make that announcement tonight, right now. paul ryan being the vice presidential nominee. you know what this is going to do? this is going to keep the right-wing agenda front and center, and if the economy is the most important issue, let's just go to their budget every day. if there's a concern with mitt romney engaging with conservatives and making sure that conservatives are going to
coalesce behind this moderate republican who flip-flops all the time, hey, paul ryan would be the guy. this is a guy who goes on fox news and they give him a birthday cake with a dollar sign on it. that's pretty republican. he is the poster boy for radical right-wing economic policy in america. but there's one more reason why i really want him to be the vice presidential nominee, and on the ticket. it's probably the timing isn't going to work out right, obviously. but it would really keep the folks in wisconsin engaged, wouldn't it? i think in some strange way, if he keeps his name out there, it's going to help the recall effort on governor walker. i mean, every day wisconsinites are going to be reminded, holy smokes, we might have another one of these guys in power? and that's exactly what they don't want. i also think that if ryan is on the ticket, it is going to give the democrats a better chance to ignite the 50-state strategy, which, of course, was very instrumental in 2008 and very instrumental in 2006, when nancy
pelosi got the gavel. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think about this selection, if it happens. tonight's question, if paul ryan is mitt romney's vp selection, who does it help? text "a" for democrats, text "b" for republicans to 622639. you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. i am joined tonight, in honor to have howard dean in studio with us, former governor of vermont and former chairman of the dnc. governor, go ahead to have you with us. >> thanks for having me on, ed. >> how big of an asset, either way, is this ryan budget plan that the president is really making the focal point of what his campaign's going to be? >> what ryan does in this budget is shift the risk of price increases in health care from the government to people over 65. so this is a disaster. this budget is a disaster. it's a disaster in every way. it actually increases the deficit substantially, because, of course, he's got tax cuts in there that aren't paid for, just
like george w. bush did. so i have to agree with you, i hope he does pick paul ryan for his vice presidential. first, it will show a sign of weakness with and second of all, every day is a target for the kmthes. because paul ryan really is a very nice guy, but a member of the radical right. >> could any democrat, anywhere, run against this budget? i mean, i think it will ignite the 50-state strategy. >> i can't wait to see what people say in idaho about this budget, one of the most conservative states in the country. but there are plenty of senior citizens in idaho who won't want to have their medicare cut and taken away. >> aren't the republicans somewhat clever about the way they're doing this budget, though? from the standpoint, it's almost like it's a generational lift. they're saying that anybody over 55 is not going to be affected by this. a lot of people, i believe, in this country, in their 40s, the 40-somethings, they're not thinking about 25 years down the road. but what's happening to them right now is that they're going to be forced into a system that's going to put them in the voucher, and they're going to have to go out on the open
market and say, gosh, which insurance company is going to be better for me. who wins? >> see, here's what the big problem is. you're right about 40 and 50-year-olds, and even 35-year-olds. but under 35, even though they have a fiscal stake in trying to get the country back in order, this party, the republican party, is gay bashing, muslim bashing, latino bashing, immigrant bashing, women bashing every day. and so the young -- young people are just not going to vote for romney, because they're not going to -- they think insurance should actually pay for birth control, they don't -- their friends are gay, muslim, latino, and so forth and so on. they're sick of this stuff. they hate this kind of politics. so the republicans are playing to a very, very narrow audience and they just made it a lot worse in this primary. >> so does this mean that romney is going to have to pick a woman or a latino? >> i would, if i were him. i would take a close look at susan martinez, the new mexico governor. probably look at rubio, a close look at the governor of nevada,
brian sandoval. he's -- you can't -- >> he's got problems. >> with the numbers that he's got in the hispanic community, he can't be president, even if he could make it up to women, and women are not going to forget that the republican party basically doesn't like birth control pills. >> i want to play another part of president obama's speech from yesterday and get your reaction. here it is. >> the positions i'm taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions. what's changed is the center of the republican party. >> and of course, there's no question, the republicans are moving further to the far right. so where does this leave this strategy for the democrats? it seems like in pretty good shape. >> i think the president's strategy has been incredible since last august when he gave his jobs speech.
he campaigns right. he's right. he is the campaigner in chief, and boy, is he good at it. when you look at these clips, barack obama looks like a president and mitt romney looks like he's whining. people are just not going to vote for that. complain he's a bully? i mean, the problem with the republicans, they have no credibility. nikki haley, paul ryan, now mitt romney, by his own device, so he could win the primary, are all identified with the right, with right-wing partisanship. so you're going to have to find somebody a lot more thoughtful and respected by the american public to criticize the president. they know this president. they've seen him on tv for four years. he's not a bully, they know that. >> and this gender gap that's unfolded in the polling, is this a death nail for the republicans? >> it is, it's not fixable. >> not fixable? >> no. not fixable. because what you've done, you've shown women that they didn't know before and they're never going to forget this. they're going to come back, the republicans will come back and talk about the economy, women buy gas too. women are never going to forget that the republican party came after their right to make their own personal decisions about
birth control. this is not -- doesn't have the same punch as abortion. abortion, for the republicans, is a big issue, it's a deeply felt issue. there is vast use of birth control pills by nearly every woman of fertility age in america, and the republicans tried to take away their right to get it with insurance. they think it's okay for men to have viagra, not okay for women to have birth control. there's not a woman in america that's going to forgive that and forget it. >> howard dean, thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. coming up, another etch a sketch moment for romney. romney's campaign share says that women will not hear romney's real views until the general election? ruth connive and virginia state delegate hearing will weigh in on that. and on a mission to destroy the post office. i'm fired up about this. there is absolutely no reason why we should be dismantling the post office in this country, which is going to butcher economically the portion of
rural america that desperately needs that service. but why are they doing it? i'll tell you why they're doing it. there is a plan. democrats, you can't let them get away with that. i've got a commentary coming up. bernie sanders will join me, because he's got some solutions on how to enhance and save the postal service. we're right back. [ male announcer ] raise your hand if you've got savings whiplash. you know, from car insurance companies shouting, "save 500 bucks over here!" "no, save 300 bucks over here!" "wait, save 400 bucks right here." with so many places offering so much buck-saving, where do you start? well, esurance was born online, raised by technology, and majors in efficiency. so they're actually built to save you money... and time... and whiplash. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape. wow! that feels really good. you can adjust it to whatever your needs are.
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the etch a sketch candidate strikes again. coming up, another romney surrogate says voters, well, they're just going to have to wait until the general election to see where he stands on women's issues. more on the republican war on women, next. and right-wingers out there who have been rooting for an american failure, well, you've got some bad news on the chevy volt today. democratic strategist bob shrum is ahead with that story. and actor mark ruffalo is raising awareness about the effects of fracking on america's ground water. mark ruffalo has a new campaign to do something about it. we'll visit with him here on "the ed show." share your thoughts on twitter, using the #edshow. we're right back.
well, i know that our party has traditionally faced a gender gap, but i think the democratic party has done an effective job at trying to mischaracterize our views. i think that in the final analysis, i will win by having the support of men and women. >> welcome back to "the ed show." the republican's war on women has caught up with their nominee, mitt romney. romney knows he's in trouble, so he's deploying surrogates to sell the romney brand to women voters. trouble is, they aren't doing a very good job. romney's maryland campaign share, former governor bobber ehrlich says that the gender gap
is santorum's fault. >> i think that's the democrats using some of senator santorum's verbiage to their electoral vantage, to their partisan vantage. >> but mitt romney doesn't need rick santorum to alienate women voters, he's doing a pretty good job of it himself. >> of course you get rid of obama care, that's the easy one. but there are others, planned parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. >> planned parenthood provides preventative care and cancer screenings to thousands of women across this country. mitt romney wants to get rid of it, plain and simple. the affordable care act, or what they like to call obama care, would end -- would end gender discrimination when it comes to women's health care in this country. here's the way the country lacks right now, before the law is fully implemented. in the yellow, orange, and red states, women, you know what they do? they pay up to 100% more for health insurance than men do. in the blue states, it is illegal for insurers to
discriminate based on gender. now, here's what the country is going to look like when what they call obama care goes into effect in 2014. no more gender description, but mitt romney wants to get rid of that as well. but according to governor ehrlich, it doesn't matter what mitt romney wants to get rid of or what he has repeatedly said on the campaign trail. you see, women won't know what mitt romney really believes until santorum and others get out of the race. >> i think when the general election, again, when you have one on one, general election, and you see again or are reminded of governor romney's real views, that gender gap will dissipate rather quickly. >> oh, it's just another etch a sketch moment. senator kelly ayotte of new hampshire, another romney supporter, out making the rounds on the talking heads. she says once the primary is over, the real mitt romney will be unzipped. >> polls go up, they go down,
and you have to bear in mind, we've been in a tough primary fight. part of this gap, i think, is a reflection of where we are in the primary. and now it's going to turn around very much. >> let's turn to ruth konif, a political editor for the progressive magazine, and charnell hearing with us tonight, she is a minority whip in the virginia house of delegates and chair of the state's reproductive rights caucus. great to have both of you with us tonight. ruth, do you consider or do you view these positions that the republicans are taking as insulting? >> absolutely, ed. and i'm not alone in that. i mean, look, i mean, first of all, the best thing that romney supporters can say for him is that this man is not who he says he is. so right there, you've got a problem. that's just insulting women's intelligence. but if they are going to try to send this dog whistle, that somehow we're going to get the mitt romney who's actually pro-choice like back when he was governor of massachusetts, it's not getting anywhere with women. women are not going to forget that this man came out and said, we're going to eliminate planned parenthood. it's true that women weren't
prepared to have to defend our access to birth control, but all of a sudden we're shocked to find that that's where we are. that actually the republicans want to get between us and a perfectly legal prescription for birth control. and that's hard to get over. i don't think they're going to make that go away. >> charnell hearing, i have to ask, when you look at the map and you see what the health care act is going to do when it goes into full implementation in 2014, everything changes for women in this country. >> right. >> and here are the republicans saying that one of the first things they're going to do is repeal this, what they call, obama care. are they advocating for discrimination? >> certainly sounds like it, doesn't it? and it's really shocking and sort of insulting to suggest that women can't keep straight which republican candidate said what discriminatory statement, and trying to put a bar between a woman and her access to health care.
and as you mentioned, equal access, that's what's key. and it's very insulting that the republicans would think that women cannot differentiate between two candidates. >> well, does the romney camp right now, charnell, have a credibility problem with women? he's got nikki haley saying that women don't care about contraception. how does that play? will it be a game changer, in any way, shape, or form? >> i think, absolutely. and it's really ironic that they put that out there and say that women don't care. it shows you a couple of things. one, they're out of touch with women, and i'm surprised that a woman would say such a thing. and two, women can you not and appreciate and analyze health care at the same time that they talk about the economy. and what better way to have a good, strong economy than for women who have access to health care so that they can be healthy and that we have healthy workers in our economy. they all go together, and for them to parse them out makes absolutely no sense. and won't make sense to the
american voter. >> i have to say, ruth, i have never seen either political party alienate a portion of voters in this country the way the republicans are doing it right now with women. i mean, romney supporters are making the case that they're going to be able to get women voters back, and they're going to fix this gender gap, because the economy is more important than women's health care. is it fixable? howard dean just told us in the last block that it's something that they can't fix. what do you think? >> they cannot fix it. they cannot fix it, because it's not just the rhetoric, although that was pretty darned stunning, about eliminating planned parenthood and just supporting the idea that you go down to the corner pharmacy and maybe your pharmacist should decide if you get your prescription. maybe your boss should decide whether he thinks you ought to get birth control? that's not fixable. and women are losing birth control thanks to these guys. look at governor rick perry in texas, there are planned parenthood clinics closing. they are the only provider of health care to 60% of the women they serve. they are going away and these women are getting no health now. and on the economic issue, these
guys are for the paul ryan budget plan? guess who that hurts the most? if women care about economics, they want to keep things like medicaid, medicare, tuition assistance for their kids to go to college. it's a big loser, ed. >> delegate herring, if it is the economy, more important to women than women's health care, it would seem to me that mitt romney and the republicans would be advocating for equal pay in the workplace, wouldn't they? >> absolutely. you would think they would. and, you know, you mentioned equal pay in the workplace. it was president obama who made it clear to all women, and the nation, that he believes in the economy and equity in the workplace. his first act, the first bill he signed was the fair pay act. so we know where the president stands. but this wishy-washy, well, we're going to see the real mitt romney in the general election, doesn't play out. it makes no sense. you would think that he would talk about equity during the primary process, as well as the general election. it's too late to start talking
about it. it obviously was not part of his agenda. >> ruth conniff and representative herring, great to have you with us tonight. chevy volt is roaring back and employees are returning to the production line a week early. but went sales were slow, they were cheering. they are bad mouthing this thing left and right. and mitt romney won in wisconsin, but only after showing total disregard for the state's election law. oh, yeah, wisconsin's got some legal issues with the mitt-ster. authorities are on the chase. we're right back. ying
in business, sales solves a lot of problems. general motors will resume production on the chevy volt hybrid car one week early because of incredibly strong sales in the month of march. this is good news, conservatives! but wait a minute, you guys were on the sidelines cheering a month ago when gm announced a temporary hold on volt production. but the volt, well, they sold a record 2,280 units in march, so employees, doggone it, they've got to go back to work a week earlier, sooner than expected. the volt was named european car of the year. that's really got to ruffle up the conservatives in america, doesn't it? europeans like what we're doing. republicans are happier when the american economy, and the car industry, seem to be struggling.
this is what mitt romney, let's not forget, this is what mitt romney said about the volt last december. >> the chevy volt, a -- let's see, an idea whose time has not come. >> oh, come on, mitt, you can put your dog kennel on top of the volt. and here's what mitt romney said monday, just two days ago. >> i'm not sure america was ready for the chevy volt. i mean, i hope it does well, i don't want to disparage any product coming out of detroit, but i think instead of having politicians tell us what kind of cars we ought to make, we ought to let the people who are trying to understand the market make that decision. >> great timing, mitt-ster. you're supposed to be the smart business guy out there, you know? you've done so much in the private sector, the righties have trashed the volt all along. >> does the car have a floor, or is it like a flintstone thing? >> it's loaded with taxpayer subsidies and offered with a taxpayer bailout. >> you would have to give that to me for free! and i would rather roller skate backwards in the lincoln tunnel than drive that thing and break down. >> it is not just me, it is now
official. the volt is a dolt. you hearing me all those bloggers? it stinks. the car you have to plug in ain't exactly selling out, not even close. >> here it is, another obama proposal, another plan, give money to people without any strings attached. >> oh, hecklers from the stands. republican congressman darrell issa even held a hearing about the safety of the chevy volt. but democratic congressman elijah cummings, he called it for what it was. >> this hearing is not about safety. this hearing -- >> you don't think so? >> this hearing is about an attack. >> joining me now, bob shrum, democratic strategist and professor at new york university. you know, the republicans, bob, have been so far off the mark on this, and they're actually rooting against economic success in an industry. professor, there has to be a lecture there somewhere. >> well, look, there's a reality. and the reality is, you're right. they want the economy to go down. they want jobs to be destroyed. look, mitt romney took the
position that we should let general motors go bankrupt. if that had happened, there'd be no volt, no jobs, no gm, because there was no financing available without a government bailout. that, by the way, is why mitt romney has no chance of carrying michigan in november. you're also right that this issue is a symbol of something bigger. these folks hate the government. they hate the government, whether it's a government that saves us from depression or a government program like medicare. so you have romney who wouldn't have saved general motors, now endorsing a plan to privatize, voucherize, and destroy medicare. >> here's the president talking about the volt back in february. listen up. >> i've got to get inside a brand-new chevy volt, fresh off the line, and five years from now, when i'm not president anymore, i'll buy one and drive it myself. >> the president shout-out may have helped sales quite a bit while republicans sit on the sidelines and say that they should have let detroit go bankrupt. i mean, that comment right there might have been the best sales pitch they ever had.
the fact is, they sold a heck of a lot more than they ever thought they were going to sell, and they're going to sell more. and gm is very confident that consumers are going to love this car. so how big is this come election time? >> well, it's part of a whole pattern. i mean, as i said in michigan, i think that the state's hopeless for romney. but it's part of this big pattern of, we don't want to invest in technology. look, the government's technology investments were critical to everything from the manhattan project to the moon landing, to the foundation of the internet. all of that came about because the government invested money in research and development. and of course not everything he invested in is going to work. there were plenty of dead ends in the manhattan project. there were things that didn't work out in the space program. but if you don't have a government that does that, that provides seed money, either directly or through universities or to companies, you're not going to invent the future, which is what america's always been good at. the other reason, by the way, they hate the volt, because they
hate anything that's good for the environment. >> that is for sure. here's congressman darrell issa, who's been against it. >> do the american people really think that we should have put $375 million in subsidies into ge into buying these electric cars, so that everybody could make a statement about the future with a really bad car. >> now, why doesn't congressman issa have a hard time with subsidies for the oil industry? issa held a hearing about volts catching fire, even though no volt had caught fire on the road, and there were no recalls. >> right. look, he's -- >> go ahead. >> issa's the richest guy in congress. and his mission in congress is to protect the wealthy, to give them huge tax breaks, to protect big oil and big gas, to make sure that we don't move in the direction of renewable fuels, that we don't move in the direction of alternative technologies like the volt. the republicans are just on the wrong side of history, they're on the wrong side of the future. and by the way, ed, as this economy gets better, because we not only heard about the volt today, we heard about probably 200,000 jobs last month in the
economy, we heard the fed's view that we may not need another stimulus, another easing from them, because the economy is doing well. what's mitt romney going to say? the guy who destroyed jobs had a message that said, i'm mr. fix-it, i'll create jobs. they're being created. >> 25 months of private sector job growth. and i would really like to see the obama campaign challenge mitt romney or any of the other republicans to go test drive a volt and give some testimony on just how bad it is, right? >> i'm going to buy one. >> sold! bob shrum, great to have you with us tonight. thanks. >> thanks, ed. the republican war on workers is coming for your letter carrier. vermont senator bernie sanders on the latest effort to save the post office. >> i got to tell you how much i appreciate your coming by and getting a free sandwich today. >> mitt romney got busted passing out sandwiches for votes. now the waukesha d.a. is investigating the matter.
fred he uh... fred what is your plan? do i look like i have a plan? not really. [ female announcer ] only flood insurance covers floods. for a free brochure, call the number on your screen. this doesn't get enough conversation. i want to talk about the republican mission, and that's exactly what it is, to take down the post office. congressman darrell issa, congressman of the house oversight committee, is leading the charge. he says he's trying to save the post office, but in reality, he is pushing a bill to absolutely destroy it. this is just the beginning. if darrell issa has his way, with more than 3,000 post office branches will be shut down across the country, most of them in rural communities where they need the service. and 200,000 post office jobs would be lost. yeah, they kind of like that too. and there really is no reason for any of this.
republicans will tell you that the postal service is just in huge trouble because they're losing money. about $20 billion over five years. but here's the thing that they're not telling you. the reason the post office is losing money is because of a 2006 law passed in the lame duck session of a republican congress. they stuck it to the workers one more time before they left. the law requires the post office to pre-fund employees' retirement accounts for the next 75 years, over a little ten-year window. so they are doing the burden for the future right now. it costs them $5.5 billion a year to fund those pensions. what for? they're funding people who aren't even working for the post office yet! maybe congress should have to fund their retirement for the next 75 years, in a ten-year window. see how well the tea partiers can balance the budget then. they couldn't. no one can. no business does it this way. i want to show you exactly how
much your money, your taxpayer dollars go to fund the post office this year. zero. that's a zero. you got that? that means none of the tax dollars out of your pocket go to the government to fund the post office. so what the heck is this all about? this is what pays for the post office operations, right here. it's these things called stamps. they still work in america, i use them damned near every day. here's why republicans want to kill the post office. they want to privatize everything they can get their hands on. they want to privatize the postal service so their corporate boys down the street here can make more money. they want to destroy union infrastructure. they hate unions any way, shape, or form. because it's a dues thing. and they want to destroy a voting bloc. they want to pit worker against worker. they want to disenfranchise people. they want to get them out of work and get them upset, so they
won't vote for the democrats. and they are on a mission to get rid of any government job they can. but guess what, the number of one group of people hired by the office are military veterans. issa won't tell you that either. i expect this kind of action from republicans, but what bothers me is that democrats, you're not fighting hard enough. you know, you're doing a great job of going after the ryan budget. we're going to help you do that. ly on this show, but you've got to step up and do something big time to save the post office from utter disaster. this is a real opportunity for the democrats to correct a terrible injustice on workers in america. it makes absolutely no sense, and has been totally, totally manufactured by the right-wingers like darrell issa. this is a -- there is, of course, i should say, a less aggressive bill before the senate that would alleviate some of the pension problems, but you've got to hit it out of the
park on this one, democrats. my guest on this has a better solution for all of it. i'm joined tonight by bernie sanders, independent senator from vermont. senator, good to have you with us tonight. this is one of these stories that i think i have to tell maybe every three weeks or once a month before the election. because i'm hearing on the radio, well, gosh, i didn't know that stamps pay for everything. i'm hearing on the radio, well, i didn't know about this 75-year thing into a ten-year window. no business could do that. so i ask you, senator, what is congress going to do? what do you think they should do to reverse all of this? >> well, there's a lot we should do. the original plan, as you indicated, ed, that came from the post master general, would have shut down 3,700 rural post offices, which would have been devastating to rural america. i mean, many, many small towns exist around their post office. so it really would have been a terrible thing. the post master general
originally wanted to shut down half of the processing plants in america, about 250 of them. all told, he wanted to shrink the workforce by over 200,000 workers in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the great depression. wanted to end saturday mail delivery. wanted to slow down mail delivery standards. what happened is senators lieberman and corp. introduced the bill that certainly was a heck of a lot better than what the post master general had proposed. in my view, it did not go far enough. i brought together two dozen members of the senate. we are working on now what's called a manager's amendment that would go a long way toward protecting the postal service. >> senator, all of that is great. and i appreciate you doing it. but shouldn't the democrats be making a equipment to american workers that, look, if we get the white house, the house and the senate back, we're going to
change this 75-year thing. because this is the crippling financial stipulation that has been put on the postal service that is going to destroy businesses in rural america that need this service. it's the funding of the pension and will the democrats turn that around? >> i hope so. that's what we have for all intent and purposes, in the manager's amendment that i and others have worked on. there is no entity in america, not any agency of government, not any private corporation that has anything near this kind of onerous requirement in terms of funding -- >> nobody? >> -- future -- >> no business would run like this. >> now, here's what's interesting, ed. the inspector general wrote to me, of the post office, wrote to me and said, hey, they got $44 billion in that account right now. and when they compound interest, the 3 or 4% a year, that's all they need! they don't need anymore. so you're absolutely right that one of the important steps forward is to end this $5.5
billion every single year. but the second thing we have to do is we have to give the post office a lot more freedom and flexibility to go out and bring in new revenue. there are real restrictions. you walk into a post office right now, you want to get a letter notarized, they can't do it. you want to get letters copied -- >> let them -- >> you want to get a hunting license -- that's right. so we're working on that as well. but the goal here is that in the middle of a recession, you don't downsize by 200,000, good-paying jobs, including, as you indicated, many veterans. $45 billion in that fund right now. let me see, the republicans want to get rid of the postal service, is what they want to do. so when they get rid of it, there's going to be all this money there. that's going to be another fund that they'll be able to raid and do something else with it. you mark my words, that's exactly where it's all going. senator, i appreciate your work on this. keep going after it. it is an issue, a winning issue for democrats and workers in this country.
and in the big finish tonight, critics say the mining process known as fracking is ruining communities. actor and advocate mark ruffalo will join me. don't forget to listen to me on radio, sirius xm channel 127 monday through friday from noon to 3:00 p.m. follow me on twitter at ed show and like "the ed show" on and like "the ed show" on twitter. [ male announcer ] that. right there -- reminds you
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to save you money... and time... and whiplash. esurance. insurance for the modern world. click or call. welcome back to "the ed show." good to have you with us as we close in on a very big story. the mining process known as fracking is once again under scrutiny, thanks to a new advocacy group. oscar-nominated actor mark ruffalo will join me in just a moment. hydraulic fracturing, or
fracking, is a way of mining natural gas, but critics say it causes all kinds of environmental and health problems. an organization called water defense is trying to raise awareness. >> we didn't really think anything about our water. and we just started getting sick. >> for 11 months now, i've been dealing with contaminated water. >> we can't take a bath at our house because the gas water. >> we'd have a lot of aches and pains and a lot of headaches and fevers. >> the oil and gas industry has directly lied to my family. >> they're selling and making money, and we're losing our homes and our water supplies. >> fracking has gotten the attention of the obama administration. this is what vice president joe biden said yesterday. >> shale oil, below the surface of the continental united states. we know we can get it, but we have to do it environmentally soundly. there's a thing called fracking. they've got to go crack the rock
in order to get it out. you can environmentally do that well and you can environmentally do it poorly. >> i'm joined tonight by oscar nominated actor, mark ruffalo, co-founder of waterdefense.org. i urge you to go this to website and view this trailer. it is very effective, mark. nice to meet you. good to have you with us. >> great to be here. >> what about the vice president. was he right in what he just said, in your opinion? >> well, the question was, if we can do it safely. that's been the question. what my experience is, and people who have been following this is, everywhere they've done it, there's been contamination. and you have to ask yourself, if we could do it safely, why aren't we doing it? why is this industry asking to be exempted from the safe drinking water act, the clean air act, the hazardous waste act, the super fund act. they're saying that because they can't make money, they can't make it economically profitable to do it safely, to do it the way -- and we haven't seen any scientific evidence that it can be done safely.
they haven't provided the evidence yet that it can be. and if it can be, they're not doing it. >> what do you say to those companies that say, well, we're really down thousands of feet, and it's -- none of this is going to get into the water supply? >> well, what they do is they pull -- they have backwash, what's coming out of the backflow. and that's almost at least a third of the water they put down there has got to come out. that's filled with radiation, with the chemicals they've put in there, the fracking chemicals, and with salt and heavy metals. that's being deep well injected in ohio, which is why we're having the earthquakes there now. there is nowhere to put this stuff when it comes out. each one of these well sites has spillage, and the casings are not holding the gas that's migrating up beneath the casings and into people's homes. all over p.a. right now, where they're doing gas drilling, people are having gas migrating into their homes at explosive levels. gas is in their water, you can see it.
>> so the public's at risk right now? >> this is a public health issue. there's been no credible public -- long-lasting public healthy studies done on this, and it hasn't even been brought into the conversation. >> what do you want the obama administration to do? >> i want them to think before they jump. right now, what we're doing with water defense is we're starting an education campaign. and it's a people-powered education campaign. what we can't forget as a people is when we see exxonmobil playing their fracking is the greatest thing since asbestos adds, we've got to remember that it's an ad. that we're being sold something that's being kind of played off as a public service announcement that's teaching us about hydrofracking. they are selling us a product. and that product is another 30 years of a carbon-based energy source. it isn't going to last 20 years at current consumption. our own energy department came out the day after obama's state
of the union address and said, there isn't 100 years of gas in this country, there's 20 years of gas at the current levels we're using it, it's going to cost $700 billion to change our infrastructure from the coal-burning power plants to natural gas. it's a bridge fuel to nowhere. if we're investing in fossil fuels, it's an investment that's taking us nowhere. we have the technology right now, you're seeing it with the volt, with teslas, with the innovations that are happening in water, air, and sun. in renewable energy. we can be moved to renewable energy in this country by 2030. >> waterdefense.org. >> that's right. >> we're telling the people, it's a people-powered education system. they're spending millions of dollars against us and we're coming out with the other side of the argument. the people's version of the argument. >> okay. you're getting ready to go on an international tour with the movie. how'd you like playing "the hulk"? >> it was great. i got to channel my 10-year-old